New Yorker Surveys Cyber-Security Threat from China

In an article that starts by reviewing the April 2001 collision of an American EP-3E Aries II reconnaissance plane with a Chinese interceptor jet over the South China Sea, the New Yorker devotes major space to defining cyber-security as a “major growth industry.”

The U.S. government spends between $6 and $7 billion annually on unclassified cyber-security work and, it is believed, an equal amount on the classified portion, the article says. National security writer Seymour Hersh proposes that scary warnings about the potential for enemies to disrupt U.S. power grids, airline flight patterns and refinery schedules have created a military-cyber complex in the U.S.

Whether those doomsday scenarios are plausible or exaggerated for the purpose of wringing money out of Congress for defense contractors is debated in the piece. “I was told by military, technical, and intelligence experts that these fears have been exaggerated, and are based on a fundamental confusion between cyber espionage and cyber war,” Hersh writes.

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